Residents of Ulania in Mehendiganj upazila of Barisal demanded constructing another one kilometre embankment to protect the historical places in the area from erosion by the Meghna River.
In 2013, an 875-meter long embankment was built to save various historical places including the zamindar bari, a mosque and the century old Coronation High school.
However, the local people now wanted to extend the embankment for making it sustainable in the long run.
They reiterated their demand at a reception event of noted journalist and language hero Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury on Saturday.
Recalling the history of the area, poet Asad Chowdhury, a resident, said Mughal rulers had sent Hanif Khan, one of their armed forces general, to Ulania to fight the pirates coming mostly from Arakan.
“Hanif Khan later settled down in the area permanently and his ancestors became wealthy land lords. They constructed a fine mosque in 1861, many buildings and market places in the area,” he said. The Coronation High School was also established by the zamindars in 1912.
Many historical places like a fort named Sangram Kella and a village called Govindapur were washed away by the mighty Meghna.
Fakhrul Islam Anu, a descendent of the Ulania zamindar family, said more than two kilometre area gradually went into the river in the last 12 years. So they started a movement in 2008 demanding permanent safety measures against erosion.
To the great relief and joy of the local people, Bangladesh Water Development Board (WDB) constructed an embankment in 2013 at a cost of Tk22 crore.
However, this was not sustainable as a portion of the bank was still exposed to the risk of erosion. “Local people demanded to extend the embankment by at least by one kilometre to make the protection sustainable,” Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, also a resident of Ulania, said during his recent visit to the area.